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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 12 Hansard (12 November) . . Page.. 3407 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

Clearly, our security forces need to take any threat seriously, but at the same time they and their masters must continue to show respect and understanding for everyone in our community to ensure as much as possible that a collaborative effort is made to address terrorism. More than ever now, we must remain on our guard to ensure that the action of our defence and security forces and legislation pursued by government cannot be used to divide our community on racial, political or religious grounds.

Clearly, there is a problem with the linking of "terrorist"with "Islam"time and time again. It is perceived by many peace-loving Muslims as an unjustified accusation against them and it creates a division between Muslim and non-Muslims, thus reinforcing an environment in which terrorism can flourish.

Terrorism is terrorism, and has been so when conducted by Jews, Catholics, agnostics, Maoists and so on. Rather than using language that emphasises differences, we must look to affirm our common humanity on all fronts. A few days ago in Mongolia the Dalai Lama made the point that the onus is on all religious leaders to accept that there is room for all religions and non-religions in the world. A similar statement was made by Melbourne's Islamic Council, and I trust other religious leaders of all faiths and denominations will join in.

If anything positive is to come out of the terrible tragedy of the Bali attack and the pain and suffering it has caused, it can only be that we must unite both in our opposition to terrorism and our commitment to a more equitable and inclusive world-inside Australia, with our near neighbours in Asia and the Pacific, and as active contributors to the global community.

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, I also rise to offer my sympathies and condolences to the families of the victims of the Kuta Beach bombing. I think we need to look as a nation, as a community and personally at how it has affected us and at how we can respond appropriately to address the root causes of what I regard as the worst sort of premeditated action.

To bomb a building full of people who are enjoying themselves, who are on holiday, who are simply earning a living, and to drive them out into the street where a second bomb is exploded to cause even more damage, is an action that all sane people would say is insane. There is no logic, there is no reason.

The sense of loss is heightened by the illogical nature of what was done. I think what we need to do as a nation is come out of this with a sense of unity. We have to make sure that what has been done to the people of Bali and to all the visitors, which included such a large number of Australians, will not change us for the worse, that it will not turn us into a nation of rednecks or a nation of reactionaries. It will hopefully turn us into a nation that will look at what it is that we can do to make this evil go away.

I think as a community we have come out of this strengthened. I think the response that we saw from individual communities and groups clearly is that we will not accept this as the norm, that this is not going to become part of the Australian landscape and it is not going to become part of our future.

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